A sensation of physical discomfort, whether moderate or severe; also acute mental or emotional distress.
Because of exhausting labor in cultivating cursed ground (Ge 3:17-19; 5:29), injurious words (Pr 15:1), the unresponsiveness of others to good (Ro 9:2), disease and other adversities (Job 2:13; 16:6), humans have experienced mental, emotional, and physical pain. Dreadful or frightening situations, whether real or visionary, have likewise given rise to pain.—Ps 55:3, 4; Isa 21:1-3; Jer 4:19, 20; Eze 30:4, 9; see also LABOR PAINS.
‘No More Pain.’ Although unpleasant, the physical sensation of pain serves a beneficial purpose by alerting a person to danger regarding bodily damage and thereby enables him to take steps to avoid serious injury. The fulfillment of God’s promise that “neither will . . . pain be anymore” (Re 21:4), therefore, could not mean that humans would become insensitive to or incapable of experiencing pain. Rather, mental, emotional, and physical pain that has resulted from sin and imperfection (Ro 8:21, 22) will ‘be no more’ in the sense that its causes (such as disease and death) will be removed. That bodily perfection does not of itself require absolute painlessness is verified by the fact that even the perfect man Jesus experienced physical and emotional pain in connection with his death and the unresponsiveness of those to whom he ministered. (Mt 26:37; Lu 19:41) It was even foretold that he would be “a man meant for pains.” (Isa 53:3) By curing those “distressed with various diseases and torments” (Mt 4:24), Jesus bore the pains of others.—Isa 53:4.
Figurative Use. Often the Scriptures refer to pain in a figurative sense. Depending upon the context, it may denote hard work (Pr 5:10) or a wholesome fear and awesome regard for Jehovah God. (1Ch 16:30; Ps 96:9; 114:7) Waters, mountains, and the earth, when in a state of agitation, are described as being in pain. (Ps 77:16; 97:4; Jer 51:29; Hab 3:10) Jehovah viewed unfaithful Judah as having an incurable pain, one threatening death.—Jer 30:15.
Pains, or pangs, can also denote a distressing circumstance. With reference to Jesus Christ, the apostle Peter stated: “God resurrected him by loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to continue to be held fast by it.” (Ac 2:24) Although the dead are not conscious, death is a bitter and distressing circumstance, both in the pain that often precedes it and in the loss of all activity and freedom that its paralyzing grip brings.—Compare Ps 116:3.